Category Archives: Announcements

Virtual Showcase: 4/9 @ 2 PM CT

Excerpts from the March-April installment of the Aria Institute: Mezzo Edition will be streamed online in a virtual showcase on Saturday, April 9 from 2-3 PM CT.

Hear brand-new opera arias for mezzo-soprano written by Marianna Mott Newirth, Spicer Carr, Ellen Denham, Greg Nahabedian, Sandra Flores-Strand, Monica Chew, Susan Bradley Smith, Rylan Leo Helmuth, Megan Cohen, Del’Shawn Taylor, Caroline Cao, and Vance Maverick.


  1. 0:03 General Intro (Anne Wieben)
  2. 2:44 Intro to “Through Gold, We Perceive”, from _Singing Stones_ (Tess Altiveros)
  3. 4:33 “Through Gold, We Perceive” (Ellen Denhem / Del’Shawn Taylor)
  4. 8:12 Intro to “Send Me Memories”, from _Suffering Suffragettes_ (Tess Altiveros)
  5. 9:08 “Send Me Memories” (Susan Bradley Smith / Rylan Leo Helmuth)
  6. 14:27 Intro to “Galadriel’s Test”, from _Lord of the Rings: The Opera_ (Tess Altiveros)
  7. 15:46 “Galadriel’s Test” (Caroline Cao / Monica Chew)
  8. 20:02 Intro to “Lady of the Shield-Arm, Rise Up”, from _Lord of the Rings: The Opera_ (Tess Altiveros)
  9. 21:00 “Lady of the Shield-Arm, Rise Up” (Marianna Mott Newirth / Del’Shawn Taylor)
  10. 25:03 Intro to “Shut My Mouth With Meat”, from _Three Cadets_ (Tess Altiveros)
  11. 26:28 “Shut My Mouth With Meat” (Megan Cohen / Greg Nahabedian)
  12. 30:13 Intro to “Away With the Circus”, from _Natalya & Sons_ (Tess Altiveros)
  13. 30:51 “Away With the Circus” (Megan Cohen / Spicer Carr)
  14. 34:30 Intro to “Sulfur”, from _Gladstone Manor_ (Tess Altiveros)
  15. 35:56 “Sulfur” (Caroline Cao / Monica Chew)
  16. 40:10 Intro to “All Else is Ash” (Lisa Neher)
  17. 41:00 “All Else is Ash” (Susan Bradley Smith / Greg Nahabedian)
  18. 44:41 Intro to “Kira’s Confession” (Lisa Neher)
  19. 45:28 “Kira’s Confession” (Sandra Flores-Strand / Vance Maverick)
  20. 49:24 Parting Words (Anne Wieben)

Featuring performances by Lisa Neher, Courtney Kayser, Anne Wieben, Jodi Goble, and Lindsey Huff Breitschaedel. 

The March/April 2022 Aria Institute was co-directed by Anne Wieben, Basil Considine, and Tess Altiveros, and made possible through financial support from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and the Network of Ensemble Theaters.


Virtual Showcase: Duet/Trio Edition 2021 – October 9

A showcase of new music created by Really Spicy Opera’s September-October 2021 Aria Institute cohort.

Featuring works by: Joshua Brown, Ilima Considine, Jessica Grams, Helena Michelson, Jolie O’Dell, Monica Raymond, Laura Shamas.

Musical performances by: Maggie Burr, Christina Christensen, Jennifer LeDoux, Siena Forest, Ellie Harstad, Linh Kauffman, Yvonne Freese, and Elena Stabile, with Jean Van Heel (piano).

Includes the world premiere of the collaboratively written Eruption: An Opera of Volcanic Proportions, curated by Playwright-in-Residence Kate Robards in association with Tess Altiveros, Basil Considine, and Anne Wieben.

  • 0:04 General Introduction (Tess Altiveros)
    Showcase, Part 1
  • 1:51 Intro to “Good Cape/Bad Cape” (Basil Considine)
  • 3:10 Duet: “Good Cape/Bad Cape”, from Katzenmann vs. the Patriarchy (Music: Joshua Brown, Lyrics: Jessica Grams)

    • Cat: Maggie Burr; Katzenmann: Christina Christensen
  • 5:07 Intro to “Rubble and Dust” (Basil Considine)
  • 6:03 “Rubble and Dust”, from Promised Land (Music: Helena Michelson, Lyrics: Monica Raymond)
    • Vocalists: Christina Christensen, Siena Forest
  • 9:42 Intro to “Big Dreams, Bright Eyes” (Basil Considine)
  • 10:36 “Big Dreams, Bright Eyes”, from _Girls, Girls, Girls_ (Music: Ilima Considine, Lyrics: Jolie O’Dell)
    • Vocalists: Christina Christensen, Siena Forest 13:26 Intro to “Blackout” (Basil Considine)
  • 14:28 “Blackout”, from Cinema Suits (Music: Basil Considine, Lyrics: Laura Shamas)

    • Vocalists: Maggie Burr, Yvonne Freese
  • 17:26 Intro to “Did We Really See?” (Basil Considine)
  • 19:07 “Did We Really See?”, from Heartland (Music: Joshua Brown, Lyrics: Laura Shamas)

    • Vocalists: Siena Forest, Elena Stabile
  • 22:29 Intro to “Girls Who Code” (Basil Considine)
  • 25:15 “Girls Who Code”, from Silicon Dreams (Music: Helena Michelson, Lyrics: Jolie O’Dell)
    • Vocalists: Yvonne Freese, Elena Stabile

Showcase, Part 2: World Premiere of Eruption: An Opera of Volcanic Proportions, a collaboratively written opera

  • 28:36 Intro to Eruption: An Opera of Volcanic Proportions (Kate Robards)
  • 29:54 Aria: “On the Shores of Napoli” (Music and Lyrics: Basil Considine)
    • Vocalist: Jennifer LeDoux
  • 32:44 Trio: “We Finally Get to Spend Some Time with Our Grandkids” (Music: Joshua Brown, Lyrics: Monica Raymond)
    • Vocalists: Maggie Burr, Christina Christensen, Ellie Harstad
  • 36:53 Trio: “Safest Bet” (Music: Ilima Considine, Lyrics: Jessica Grams)
    • Vocalists: Yvonne Freese, Ellie Harstad, Jennifer LeDoux
  • 38:51 Duet: “The Wrong Sons” (Music: Basil Considine, Lyrics: Jolie O’Dell)
    • Vocalists: Maggie Burr, Jennifer LeDoux
  • 42:38 Trio: “Embrace” (Music: Helena Michelson, Lyrics: Laura Shamas)
    • Vocalists: Yvonne Freese, Ellie Harstad, Jennifer LeDoux
  • 47:26 Duet: “Isn’t This Romantic?” (Music and Lyrics: Basil Considine)
    • Vocalists: Maggie Burr, Linh Kauffman

Recorded at Wild Sound Recording Studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Really Spicy Opera is a Professional Company Member of Opera America, and a member of the Minnesota Theater Alliance and the Network of Ensemble Theaters.

Aria Institute Virtual Showcase: Thursday, 7/30, 5-6 PM

What would an operatic version of Star Wars: The Last Jedi sound like? What about Sharknado the Opera: COVID Spring Break? What would happen in the operatic version of meeting your old crush (and 100% douche) from high school? What if you could hear Aphra Behn tell off a theatre critic, 17th-century opera style? How about just giving opera more puppies and tigers?

Find out the answers to these and other forbidden opera subjects in the livestreamed concert showcase of The Aria Institute: Soprano Edition this Thursday, 7/30 from 5-6 PM Central Time.

Featuring brand-new works by:

  • Caroline Cao
  • Basil Considine
  • Jessica Grams
  • Dina Pruzhansky
  • Nathan Scalise
  • SiHyun Uhm
  • Jane Wong
  • Marcus Yi

Administered by Tess Altiveros, Basil Considine, and Anne Wieben.

With performances by Suzanne Karpov (soprano) and Steven Seigart (collaborative piano).